great causes

Josh Gondelman Says He Won’t Try Cocaine Despite Growing Demands

Josh Gondelman. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

Comedian and Desus & Mero writer-producer Josh Gondelman has a wonderful reputation: By all accounts he’s a nice guy, and he’s perhaps best known for bringing some much-needed positivity to the hellscape that is Twitter by frequently offering his followers free pep talks. Now he can add one more thing to his reputation: He spent a day being pressured into trying cocaine by comedians on Twitter, but despite the growing demands for him to turn into a drug-consuming bad boy, he stood his ground and resisted.

If you’re not yet aware of the movement to get Gondelman to try cocaine, here’s a quick catch-up: Comedian Matt Koff, who writes for The Daily Show and is also one of the writers behind the @TrumpComedyNerd Twitter account, has a long-running bit in which he tweets about cocaine. His earlier tweets were just general references to cocaine, but over the past several weeks, Koff has switched to simply asking, over and over, if he should try it:

Gondelman unintentionally implicated himself in Koff’s bit on September 2 by also tweeting about cocaine, prompting Koff to drag Gondelman into what became not a question of if they would try cocaine together but when.

Since that interaction, support for Gondelman’s trying cocaine has been steadily building within the comedy community on Twitter, including from Paul F. Tompkins, who created a petition called “Get Josh Gondelman to ‘Shovel the Driveway.’” As of this writing, the petition has 500 signatures and counting. But Gondelman has been pushing back against the many calls for him to try the drug.

Vulture reached out to Gondelman to ask about the pleas for him to try cocaine and his insistence that he won’t do it, and he was kind enough to offer a statement: “I am very flattered that so many members of the comedy community have offered me counsel on and access to cocaine use, but I am afraid that their enthusiasm is misguided. No matter how many signatures Paul F. Tompkins accrues on his petition, it will not convince me to do hard drugs during Sukkoth with my friend Matt Koff, in the men’s room of Katz’s deli, or any other place,” he said. “But I will donate $1 per signature up to the goal of 1,000 signatures to the National Harm Reduction Coalition, which I hope my friends and bullies will take as a meaningful concession.”

So there you have it. Gondelman appears to be standing strong in his conviction not to do cocaine. But no matter where you stand on the matter, one thing’s for certain: If you sign Tompkins’s petition, you’re supporting a great and worthy cause.

Update, 9:00 p.m.: Gondelman has followed through on his promise and donated $1,000 to the National Harm Reduction Coalition after the petition reached 1,000 signatures. Tompkins also donated $500 and told Gondelman on Twitter that he will match his full donation “after you do just a lil bump.” Koff is also still holding out hope that Gondelman will come around. “Josh, while technically never having agreed to do cocaine on this or any date, knows it is the only thing that will heal this divided nation,” he told Vulture. “I know he’ll make the right choice.”

Josh Gondelman Won’t Try Cocaine Despite Growing Demands